Dr. David Hafler Is Named the Inaugural Glaser Professor

Dr. David A. Hafler, newly designated as the inaugural Gilbert H. Glaser Professor of Neurology, is a leader in the effort to better understand the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The chief and chair of neurology at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine, Hafler is among the first to apply human T cell cloning to human disease, defining the targets of the activated immune cells in patients with MS. He is an expert on the mechanisms of autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system.

Before joining the Yale faculty in September, Hafler was director of molecular immunology in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, where he was also the Jack, Sadie and David Breakstone Professor of Neurology (Neuroscience) and a neurologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1984.

Hafler is an associate member of the Broad Institute at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founded an international collaboration with scientists from the University of Cambridge and the University of California. The group led an initiative to solve the genetic basis of MS, culminating in the first whole genome scan identifying the genes associated with the disease.

A graduate of Emory University, Hafler earned his M.D. from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He completed his internship in internal medicine at The Johns Hopkins University and a neurology residency at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute, where he was chief resident. He received training in immunology at Rockefeller University and was a fellow in neurology and immunology at Harvard.

Hafler serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. He is a co-founder and past president of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies and is a member of the executive council of the International Society of Neuroimmunology.

Hafler was a Harvey Weaver Scholar of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is a Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Merit Award recipient from the NIH.

The Gilbert H. Glaser Professorship, to be held by the chair of the Department of Neurology, was established through the generosity of an anonymous major donor and the family and friends of Dr. Glaser. The fund honors Glaser’s heritage of excellence in research, clinical care and the education of legions of young physicians and scientists.

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